Melt & Pour soap (MP) is considered the easiest soap to make. This is true in the fact that there's no waiting for your soaps to cure like when you make Cold Process soap, and there's no playing with dangerous chemicals (lye) as you do in both Cold Process and Hot Process soap.
But don't let the "easy" term fool you. There is a lot more that goes into making MP soap than just melting and pouring.
First you need to find a good base. We use only all natural bases, which means none of our soaps contain SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) or other chemicals. This is a personal decision, and I am not bashing bases or people who use bases with SLS in it. There are MANY suppliers you can find by doing a simple google search.
Once you find a quality base, there are a few more things you need. Soap molds, a scale, microwave safe bowls, spatulas, measuring equipment, skin safe colors/dyes, and of course, skin safe fragrance and/or essential oils.
For this soap you will need the following:
2 microwave safe bowls/pyrex measuring cups
pipettes to measure your fragrance/essential oil (you can use small measuring cups, too...like the kind that come with your liquid cold medicines)
All Natural Goat's Milk Soap Base
Cafe Mocha Fragrance Oil
Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Skin safe dye/color
Now that you have it all, you can just melt, add your color and scent and pour, right? Nope! When it comes to fragrance and essential oils, knowledge is important. Many fragrances and essential oils aren't skin safe at certain percentages or at all. Do your homework and research the maximum amount that can be safely used in your soap.
Ok, now that I have that out of the way, let's have some soapy fun!
Today we are making 2 bars of layered Orange Mocha soap in our all natural goat's milk soap base. The top layer will be scented with Sweet Orange Essential Oil and the bottom layer will be scented in Cafe Mocha Fragrance Oil. For this soap, I am doing equal amounts of soap for each later....meaning, my mold will make a 5 ounce bar of soap, so I am going to do 2.5 ounces for each layer.
First, I weigh out my soap. 5 ounces for each scent (remember, 2.5 ounces per layer, per bar).
Next I put my soap in the microwave for 1 minute on half power. Don't use full power...you want to melt your soap, not cook it! 1 minute is perfect to melt the soap completely without leaving it too hot. If your soap is too hot, any fragrance you add to it will evaporate as it cools.
Now I am going to measure out my Sweet Orange Essential Oil and add it to my melted soap. I am using my scents at 2%.
I mix that thoroughly until the essential oil is completely blended with the soap.
Then I add my color. When it comes to color, start on the low side and add a drop or two at a time until you get the desired color. Becareful not to add too much....a good rule of thumb is, if your soap suds turn colors when you use it, you added too much dye. The bubbles and suds should remain white.
Once your color is added, it's time to pour our first layer into the mold. You can then let it sit out and firm up, or if you are impatient like me, pop the baby in the freezer for about 10 minutes...it will harden up quickly.
While that's in the freezer, it's time to start on our bottom layer. Once again, melt down your 5 ounces of soap in the microwave for 1 minute at half power.
Add the Cafe Mocha Fragrance Oil and mix it in well...
then add your coffee grounds. For this soap, I did about 1.5 to 2 teaspoons total for both bars. You can increase or decrease this to suit your tastes. Mix well.
Now, I let this sit for a while. I want my soap to cool considerably, to almost a runny, gooey stage so that 1) the coffee grounds will suspend nicely and not all sink to the bottom or rise to the top and 2) when I pour this layer, I don't want it to melt my first layer.
Once your soap has cooled and is ready to pour, take your mold out of the freezer and then spray with rubbing alcohol. About 3 good squirts per soap. This serves 2 purposes. 1) the alcohol serves as an "adhesive" for the two layers. It allows the top and bottom layer to stick together. Without the alcohol, when you unmold your soap, the two layers would come apart. 2) the alcohol gets rid of any air bubbles that form on the top of the soap leaving a nice smooth surface. Don't worry...the alcohol complete dissapates from your soap as it hardens up.
Now you are ready to pour your second layer. Once you have poured, let your soap sit until it has firmed up and is ready to be unmolded. Again, if you are impatient like me, after about 5 minutes, put your soap back in the freezer for a about 15 minutes or so and then it will pop right out of your mold.
Congratulations!!! You have made soap! Not just any soap...but a deliciously scented Orange Mocha TWO layer soap!